The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
The Old Oak, Parable of the Sower, and Parable of the Talents

Jun 17, 2024

Film: The Old Oak, directed by Ken Loach, 2023, streaming on Amazon for $4.99

This award-winning film powerfully depicts the clash among and between unemployed workers in a failing blue-collar town in northern England and recently arrived Syrian refugees. This film depicts the frustration, misplaced anger and racism we are seeing everywhere today, be it England, the U.S. or Europe. Photographs hanging on the wall in the local bar called The Old Oak remind people of their history as miners fighting for a better life, a tradition of solidarity and community that echoes throughout the movie.

Books: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler

These two books, written in the 1990s, foretell with stunning accuracy the future in that far away year 2024(!), where there is disintegration of modern civilized life due to climate change, unemployment and the capitalist dog-eat-dog mentality. The second book Parable of the Talents even foretells a presidential candidate running against an older vice-president candidate, promising to “make America great again” by whipping up race and immigrant hatred, and who institutes fascist practices when he is elected. The books accurately foretell the worst of what can be; it is now up to us to show how the working class can lead away from this disaster.